The Azerbaijan State News Agency

POLITICS

President's visits to the regions – dynamic development and balanced approach

President's visits to the regions – dynamic development and balanced approach

Baku, April 10, AZERTAC

By securing its territorial integrity, Azerbaijan has become the main voice in the South Caucasus, gradually strengthened its regional and international standing, achieved major progress in the economy and rapid development of the regions. President Ilham Aliyev's regular visits to the regions of Azerbaijan are also important in terms of bolstering the socioeconomic development of the regions and reviewing the ongoing work. As the head of state has noted, “My visits to the regions are also a means of control, i.e. how the tasks I have issued are being implemented. At the same time, further tasks and recommendations are given, so that all the goals we have declared, first of all, the improvement of people's well-being, the creation of infrastructure, including the implementation of work related to social infrastructure, should be ensured in the regions. In short, the overall development of Azerbaijan's regions is both socially oriented and, at the same time, strengthens our country.”

Here is an AZERTAC editorial article on the topic.

Every time the head of state visits the regions, he attends the opening and groundbreaking ceremonies of new facilities, gets acquainted with the work that has already been done and will be done in the future, and gives tasks and recommendations. Such visits are both dynamic and balanced. In particular, although the restoration and reconstruction of liberated territories have been declared a national priority, the development of other cities and regions of the country is not put on the backburner. We have witnessed this during President Ilham Aliyev’s visits to Lankaran, Neftchala, Hajigabul, Ganja and Gabala this year. The number of facilities for which groundbreaking ceremonies were held or were inaugurated during these visits, as well as their importance and place in the socioeconomic development of the country, is a clear manifestation of attention and care to the regions.

The visits of the head of state to the regions are further evidence that the development of the regions is an important component of the sustainable socioeconomic development strategy. In general, the successful implementation of state programs on the development of the regions has paved the way for continuous growth of the non-oil sector of the country, further improvement of the business environment, the creation of new jobs and, as a result, employment of the population.

Let's take a look at President Ilham Aliyev’s visits paid yesterday. The head of state participated in the opening of a highway connecting eight settlements in Hajigabul and got acquainted with a complex of irrigation facilities for the delivery of water to agricultural land. Then the President was familiarized with the construction of the Ecological Park in Ganja, inaugurated the Sports Center and laid the foundation of the city stadium. In Gabala, an power substation, the Central District Hospital, a highway and a new school were commissioned. As is evident, all the facilities are of social and economic nature and will serve healthy and prosperous life of residents of these districts.

Comprehensive approach to the development of regions

We can observe the comprehensive approach to the development of the regions from state programs related to the socioeconomic development of the regions. In particular, the State Program on the Socioeconomic Development of the Regions in 2019-2023 covers Baku city and its suburban settlements, Absheron, Aran, Upper Shirvan, Ganja-Gazakh, Guba-Khachmaz, Lankaran, Nakhchivan, Sheki-Zagatala, Upper Karabakh and Kalbajar-Lachin economic regions, which in turn shows that no part of the republic remains on the sidelines.

If we look at the statistics of the last few years, we will see that every year the President of Azerbaijan visits approximately 15 districts (excluding territories liberated from occupation), participates in opening and foundation laying ceremonies, gets acquainted with existing or future facilities. In general, it can be seen from the figures below that the visits of the head of state to the regions are regular in nature. These trips cover all regions of the country, including Nakhchivan, Ganja-Dashkasan, Gazakh-Tovuz, Guba-Khachmaz, Lankaran-Astara, Central Aran, Mil-Mughan, Sheki-Zagatala and others. If we look at the statistics, we can see that 17 visits were made in 2021, 14 in 2022, 11 in 2023, and a total of 47 visits to five districts since the start of this year. It should also be noted that President Ilham Aliyev has made about 140 visits to the regions since 2021, including the territories liberated from occupation. This is viewed as a manifestation of the attention the President of Azerbaijan is paying to the development of regions.

Socioeconomic development in figures

The state programs on the development of the regions are of special importance in the development of regions of the country. As a result of the programs being implemented under the leadership of the President of Azerbaijan, important economic achievements have been made in the past 20 years. As a result, the country's economy has grown 3.4 times and GDP 22 times in nominal terms. The revenues of the state budget exceeded 30 billion manats in 2023. The strategic currency reserves of the country have increased approximately 41 times. Whereas in 2003 per capita budget expenses were less than 150 manats, in 2023 this figure was more than 3,500 manats. Foreign trade has increased by 10.8 times, including exports by 16.1 times. Compared to 2003, GDP per capita in 2022 increased almost three times. The volume of direct foreign debt has decreased and currently accounts for 9.3 percent of the gross domestic product. Azerbaijan's foreign exchange reserves have increased more than 47 times in the last 20 years and exceeded 66 billion US dollars, currently exceeding our direct foreign debt 10 times. In the last 20 years, non-oil exports increased more than eight times. During this period, 51 agricultural parks have been created across the country. These figures reflect the general picture of the economic successes achieved under the leadership of the head of state in 20 years.

As a result of a number of decisions made by President Ilham Aliyev regarding the development of entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector and the documents signed by the head of state, the goods produced in our country are exported to hundreds of countries ranging from China to the United States under the brand name “Made in Azerbaijan”. The value of agricultural and processing products exported in 2023 reached approximately 1 billion US dollars as a result of the policies implemented in this direction. As is evident, the vast majority of manufactured products are accounted for by agriculture and processing industry, which demonstrates the dynamic rise of the agrarian sector and the non-oil sector.

Of course, the primary goal of the measures implemented in the direction of the socioeconomic development of the regions is to ensure sustainable economic growth rate of the country and improve the social well-being of the population. It is the result of attention and care to the regions that more than 3,200 school buildings and over 750 medical institutions were built or refurbished, more than 40 Olympic centers and hundreds of different sports facilities were put into use in the last 20 years. At the same time, the process of construction and reconstruction of roads, renewal and modernization of water, gas and electricity facilities, construction of bridges, reconstruction and major repairs of social facilities continues. All these and other facts we have not listed are further evidence that, despite the challenges involving the restoration of territories liberated from occupation, the creation of infrastructure there and the implementation of the Great Return program on the country’s agenda, a balanced domestic policy is being implemented in Azerbaijan and no region of the country stays out of this development.

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